Tennis has been extremely kind to me. This sport has created most of my favorite memories, introduced me to my closest friends, and has opened countless doors in my life. Tennis has helped nurture my self-confidence, shown me a community that I feel belonging in, and continues to shape my life into a healthy, active one.
This is what Tennis for America is all about — paying this amazing experience forward to the communities that deserve it. I was placed into the Sloane Stephens Foundation last June as an AmeriCorps Fellow in the program’s pilot year. The Sloane Stephens Foundation provides completely free tennis and education programs to the students of the Compton Unified School district. I have seen first hand the tremendous impact these programs have on Compton youth — especially their virtual efforts during these difficult times. I have had the opportunity to get on to the court safely to coach some of their high performance players; this hands-on mentoring experience has been truly gratifying and I feel so lucky to be able to have connected with the some of the families that this Foundation serves.
With a couple months left in my year of service, I looked back and realized the huge range of projects I have worked on and skills I have learned. Along with the other SSF VISTAs, I had the opportunity to organize and run a completely virtual 10 week summer camp that included workouts, mindfulness and meditation, guest speakers, and virtual field trips. I personally have helped run their social channels for the last eight months curating all their content for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn with the goal towards bringing awareness to all the work they are doing for the community. I have learned a tremendous amount about digital marketing and have been lucky enough to be part of the team as they work with brands and sponsors such as Nike, VOSS, WTA, DoTerra, Vaseline, Fresh n Lean, and countless others! The skills I have learned and the relationships I have built have been the biggest contributors to the confidence I have gained from being part of the SSF family.
I have helped launch a merchandise line, raised money during a virtual wine tasting, and have aided the Director of Development in grant writing to help fund their core programs. Being a VISTA means wearing a lot of different hats and as a recent college graduate I feel it was the perfect opportunity to really learn and expose yourself to different areas of work. I highly recommend applying to this program if you are a recent college graduate and are very interested in learning more about grassroot tennis programs!
A huge thank you is in order to our ITA liaison Dave Mullins who has spearheaded this fantastic program, the Sloane Stephens Foundation Team, and my other VISTAs for taking a chance on this program! I feel extremely fortunate to have been part of this inaugural class and will take all of the skills I have learned into my new role at Tennis Channel!
Interested in becoming a Tennis For America fellow? Applications are open until May 30, 2021. Learn more about the application process.
The ITA’s national service program Tennis For America invests in college tennis graduates in order to fight inequality through tennis. Learn how you can support Tennis For America.